What Does NIT Mean in NCAA?

The NCAA, or National Collegiate Athletic Association, is the governing body for collegiate sports in the United States. As part of its mission to promote and foster intercollegiate competition, the NCAA organizes and oversees a wide range of college sports tournaments and championships. One of these championships is the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the NIT and what it means for college sports.

NBA Betting Bet on Basketball
$1,000 Welcome Bonus
A+ Rating Review
25+ Years Online
Join now!

History of the NIT

The NIT was first introduced in 1938 as a way to provide more postseason opportunities for college basketball teams. At the time, the NCAA tournament was the only postseason tournament for college basketball teams. The NIT was created to give smaller programs a chance to compete for a championship and gain national recognition.
The tournament was initially sponsored by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association (MIBA). The MIBA was a regional organization of schools from the northeastern United States and was responsible for organizing the tournament’s first two seasons. In 1940, the NIT was taken over by the National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB), which was a national organization of college basketball programs.
The NIT continued to be organized and run by the NAIB until 1952, when the NCAA assumed control of the tournament. Since then, the NCAA has been responsible for organizing and running the NIT.

What Is The NIT?

The NIT is an annual tournament that serves as the second-tier postseason tournament for college basketball teams. It is held during March and April, after the NCAA tournament has concluded. Unlike the NCAA tournament, which is limited to teams from Division I conferences, the NIT is open to teams from any division of college basketball.
Participants in the NIT are typically teams that did not receive an invitation to the NCAA tournament. These teams are typically from smaller conferences or from teams with a lower ranking in their conference. In some cases, teams from major conferences can also play in the NIT if they did not qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Related content  What Does +/- Mean in Stats?

How Is The NIT Structured?

The NIT is structured similarly to the NCAA tournament. It is a single-elimination tournament with 64 teams competing for the championship. In the first round, the teams are seeded based on their regular season performance. From there, the tournament progresses through the second round, the quarterfinals, the semifinals, and then the championship game.
The teams that make it to the NIT are typically determined by a selection committee. The committee looks at a variety of factors, including the team’s record, strength of schedule, and quality of wins and losses.

What Is The Prize For Winning The NIT?

The winner of the NIT receives the NIT Championship Trophy and the NIT Championship Banner. The trophy is awarded to the winning team in a post-game ceremony. The winning team also receives a monetary award. The exact amount varies from year to year, but it is typically around $200,000.
In addition to the monetary award, the winning team also earns a berth in the following year’s NCAA tournament. This is a significant advantage for teams that do not usually qualify for the NCAA tournament.


The NIT is an important tournament for college basketball teams. It provides teams with a chance to compete for a championship and gain national recognition. The tournament is structured similarly to the NCAA tournament and the winning team receives a monetary award and a berth in the following year’s NCAA tournament. For these reasons, the NIT is an important part of the collegiate sports landscape.